, attached to 2016-07-10

Review by Knox_Harrington

Knox_Harrington Just a great-solid show from top to bottom. I've seen a smattering of shows since 1995 and I'm not sure I've ever seen the band communicate better while on stage.

The first set is just fantastic. Nothing goes long, but they get right down to business in every song attacking each jam with a mastery and precision that is simply beautiful to witness. Mango might have had a few minor rhythm hiccups, but nothing that derailed it and hey...it's a tough song that is not played all that often. Specific highlights for me were the tight Tube, Destiny Unbound (Trey lays into a nice thick swampy groove out of the chorus), Timber/Timber/Timber, phenomenal solos in STFTFP and Winterqueen and a killer Bold as Love. Also...of course...all the stage banter and The Fishman Trilogy during songs 3-5.

The second set kept up the energy and fun. Drowned was a perfect example of what these guys can do in a relatively short amount of time...just so much texture. Together Drowned and Twist made for a pretty great 20 minutes of music. Waste was a great cool off song at that point of the show and I'm so happy to hear Trey nail the end solo. It's beautiful when executed that well and for me makes or breaks any live version of the song. Piper through Breath and Burning was just fun. Nothing that will stick with me for a long long time, but I couldn't imagine a better way to spend another 20 minutes of my time here on earth.

After B&B (which I enjoyed a lot more than imagined I would) I feel like they played 4 set closers that just kept carrying the energy 'til the very end. It did appear Mike had some trouble hearing the rest of the band during the start of Rocky Top as he seemed to jump into the vocals early. No matter, they recovered nicely and rocked it out. Martian Monster was a show highlight that got pretty damn tribal towards the end of the Marimba Lumina solo...plus more band fun with instrument switch. They executed Golgi with the energy it deserves. I'm so glad (and relieved) to hear it played with expert precision again.

At the end of Golgi, Page made another move for the Keytar (after a failed attempt to end set 1). While he did, Trey and Mike got on their backs and started pedaling they're air bikes to buy some time. More fun, so much damn fun on this night. Unfortunately this was not a fun night for the Keytar. It was by far the biggest disappointment that was quickly forgotten during Page's fantastic solo. It looked (and sounded) like he gave this rendition little extra intensity to make up for the malfunction.

One note: at about :40 of the LP recording you hear a strange synth sound...that comes from the Keytar tech, behind Fishman still trying to get it to work. I had a great view in the pit Page side and when that note is played he gave a funny, somewhat exasperated, look to Trey like " great, now they get it to work". Trey just smiled back and they went on to kill the song. Great moment.

Character Zero encore was my 4th or 5th in my last 5 shows...so no surprise for me. There are other tunes I'd love to see in the encore slot, but once it kicks in you can't deny just how damn much it rocks. I think it's the best example of the influence covering Quadrophenia had on them. Arena rock in it's purest form.

All in all just a great, fun show. To my ears and for my taste, Phish is playing as well (and quite possibly better) than I've ever seen them play during my limited time as a fan. They're 4 focused, expert musicians that have just about mastered their instruments. The West Coast run should be something pretty special!


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